(This article was originally published in Dedham Patch on March 30, 2019.)
After months of nail-biting anticipation, Horse Thieves Tavern has opened its doors to the public. Laurence Wintersteen and Chris Lutes, the co-owners of Dedham Square’s newest establishment, announced that the restaurant opened last week. Located at 585 High St., Horse Thieves Tavern is in the space that was formerly Wardle’s Pharmacy.
Wintersteen and Lutes wanted to take a modern approach to the traditional New England tavern. The space has a rustic atmosphere with an open-hearth fireplace, bench seating and several communal tables. There is a full bar, and the food menu includes several regional items, such as baked cod, succotash and skillet cornbread.
The name is a nod to the The Society in Dedham for the Apprehension of Horse Thieves, founded in Dedham in 1810. It is the oldest social club of its kind in the United States, and continues to this day. The group’s members, who have included former presidents and popes, meet for an annual celebration in town. With this in mind, the owners thought it was appropriate for the horse thieves to have a place to call their own.
“This is intended to be a fun gathering spot for locals and newcomers alike, even if they aren’t horse thieves,” says Lutes. “It’s another piece, and the next logical step, in the redevelopment and revitalization of Dedham Square.”
The duo are veteran restaurateurs, childhood friends from Maine and longtime residents of the Boston area. Lutes also owns Miracle of Science, Middlesex Lounge and Cambridge,1. — all located in Cambridge. Wintersteen is the former owner of Pressed, The Carving Station and the Kenmore Square location of Amsterdam Falafel.
The general manager is Michelle Kousidis, who formerly managed Mocha Java at The Blue Bunny Bookstore.
The project, which has taken over two years to complete, required substantial improvements to the base building. The building work as well as the restaurant construction was done by the Cambridge-based company Sincere Construction. The project architect is Dedham-based Moran + Associates.
Horse Thieves Tavern is open for drinks and dinner seven nights per week, starting at 5 p.m. Daily lunch will also be available by the end of April. Reservations can be made for parties of eight or more.
For more information, visit www.horsethievestavern.com.